England's new biodiversity program

Photo: pexels.com/Maria Orlova

England is rolling out a groundbreaking biodiversity credit scheme, the Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) program, aiming to revolutionise construction practices. All new building projects are required to generate a 10 percent net increase in biodiversity or habitat. This ambitious initiative, mandated by the Town and Country Planning Act, aims to align with the UK government's housing goals while benefiting the natural environment.

Natalie Duffus of the University of Oxford sees great potential in restoring habitats through the scheme. The program has drawn global attention, with other countries like Sweden, Singapore, Scotland, and Wales considering similar approaches.

However, the global biodiversity credit market faces challenges such as low demand, with only $8 million committed worldwide, far below the needed $200 billion by 2030. Regulatory oversight is multifaceted but concerns linger about monitoring resources and off-site habitat restoration on farmland due to uncertainties.

Despite these challenges, there's growing corporate involvement in conservation, necessitating internationally accepted standards. Government support is crucial, recognising biodiversity as a public good and integrating it into private investment decisions through policies and incentives.

England's Biodiversity Net Gain plan represents a significant step toward a more sustainable construction future, despite challenges. Its global appeal and potential impact make it a model worth monitoring and learning from.

Photo: pexels.com/Maria Orlova



Author: Sylvia Jacobs

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